3 Count: Infringing Survey

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1: BitTorrent Site IsoHunt Demands Jury Trial

First off today, David Kravets at Wired reports that, following their recent defeat on appeal, Gary Fung, the owner of the BitTorrent site isoHunt, is petitioning the Appeals Court again, this time for a jury trial.

The Appeals Court previously upheld a lower court ruling finding that isoHunt was liable for infringements perpetrated by its users because the site had “red flag” knowledge of those infringements, actively encouraged them and did nothing to stop them. Fung claimed his site was no different than Google, indexing content provided by millions of Web users, but the Appeals Court said Fung went beyond being a neutral third party and actively induced infringements.

However, now Fung is claiming that his right to a jury trial was denied and that he wants his peers to decide if his actions were legal or not.

2: TV Broadcasters Looking Into Aereo-Dish Network Discussions

Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that, following a Wall Street Journal article saying that satellite TV provider Dish Network and TV streaming service Aereo were in talks, TV broadcasters want to know what they were discussing.

The broadcasters have fled a subpoena request with a Colorado court seeking details on these meetings, including information on what is being considered and if there is any talk of acquisition.

Aereo recently won a court victory over the TV broadcasters as a judge refused to grant an injunction against the service, saying Aereo’s system of renting tiny antennas (rather than copying a single stream) meant it was likely a legal service. Dish Network is in its own copyright controversy over its Hopper digital video recorder that lets users record shows and skip commercials.

Dish Network is opposing the Subpoenas.

3: Saint Louis University: Administration Threatens Legal Action Over Professor’s Survey

Finally today, Sam Levin at The Riverfront Times reports that Saint Louis University (SLU) has found itself at the center of a very bizarre copyright controversy that involves an embattled school president and a copyright claim over a survey.

SLU president Lawrence Blondi has been the subject of a no confidence vote by the school’s faculty. The school, in response, put out a survey that was intended to help trustees understand the true opinions on campus. However, only one question referenced Blondi or his position, with most asking vaguely about the “university”. This caused one professor, Steven Harris, to distribute a second survey with the questions rewritten so many questions were about Blondi directly.

The University responded to this by having the school’s general council send a letter to Harris threatening legal action on copyright grounds should he distribute the survey. Harris has petitioned the American Civil Liberties Union for assistance and has also taken the matter to the local media, claiming that the university is simply attempting to surpress his survey and the likely results of it. SLU had no comment on the matter.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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